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Fire destroys former fire company headquarters

Local report

A Monday fire destroyed a building that once housed the headquarters of a private fire company in Grants Pass and police later arrested a man who was apparently an occupant of the building.

The blaze, which started shortly before noon, burned down the former headquarters of the now-defunct Grants Pass Rural Fire Department.

Brandon S. Gildard, 31, was arrested Monday afternoon and jailed on suspicion of first-degree arson. The building at 323 S.E. G St. had been converted to residences and Gildard was known to stay at the house, police said.

Lt. Joe Hyatt, fire marshal for the Department of Public Safety, told the Grants Pass Daily Courier that an officer with the department who was in the area called in the single-story structure fire just before noon.

Hyatt said engines arrived within two minutes of the call, and that the fire was farther along than they would normally see, considering how quick the response was.

The Courier reported that firefighters arrived to find the building fully involved with flames extending across Ninth Street and threatening surrounding buildings. Surrounding streets were closed while firefighters battled the blaze and brought it under control in about 30 minutes.

Grants Pass Rural was a private fire protection company that merged with Rural/Metro Fire in 2014.

There were no injuries reported.

A fire that started shortly before noon Monday destroyed the former headquarters of a now-defunct private fire company in downtown Grants Pass. [Photo by Viken Nokhoudian]